PETALING JAYA: Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has reminded Umno that the party does not enjoy a majority in the Dewan Rakyat and thus lacks the right to force a dissolution of Parliament.
“Umno has 38 MPs. In our system, 38 MPs cannot force the dissolution of Parliament,” he said, according to Berita Harian.
“The decision should be made by the prime minister, if he has the strength and acts sensibly,” Anwar was quoted as saying.
On Friday, Umno’s Supreme Council had agreed that Parliament should be dissolved soon, for elections to be held this year. Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is an Umno vice-president, was given the discretion to propose a date to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the dissolution of Parliament.
Several parties have objected to the decision, including DAP who accused Umno of abandoning the King’s discretionary power in the matter and disrespecting the Federal Constitution.
PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said Ismail needs to discuss the dissolution of Parliament with the Cabinet first, before bringing the proposal to the King for approval.
Ismail heads a coalition government which has the support of Barisan Nasional (which includes Umno), Perikatan Nasional (comprising Bersatu, PAS, Gerakan and several minor parties), the ruling coalitions of Sabah and Sarawak, Parti Bangsa Malaysia and an independent.
The coalition government commands the support of 115 MPs in the 222-member Dewan Rakyat, while the opposition commands 104 seats from Pakatan Harapan, Warisan, Pejuang and others.
The current Parliament’s term ends in July next year and a general election is due by mid-September 2023 if Parliament is not dissolved before then.
Under the constitution, a general election must be held within 60 days of Parliament’s dissolution.